If you are like most people, your rain gutters aren’t something you often worry about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is incredibly simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you understand how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most houses in Knoxville. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … building materials that are meant to stand out! Most are crafted from durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of gutters is to provide a path of minimal resistance for rain to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they’re in good condition, your gutters will direct runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaks, and the gutters themselves from rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too easy to fix to be the cause of major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is simple and safe. If you identify any of the following issues, it’s a pretty good indication that your gutters have some type of damage.
As soon as you find a gutter problem, you can decide if it’s something you feel comfortable fixing or remedying by yourself or if it’s a project you’d rather call a gutter company to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the water runoff away from your home the way they should be. Standing water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. And, it will leave the areas around your house consistently wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or the sides of your house. Mold and mildew indicate that there is a lot of moisture around that area – a potential issue with the rain gutters could be to blame. Remember that mold and mildew are more likely to grow on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it might just be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a time where the advice and expertise of a gutter specialist in Knoxville would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s raining to discover this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean you have gutter damage. It might just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned out. Either way, you want to have it checked right away.
Depending on the design of your home’s basement, the leaking might be caused by any number of things. The standing water issue we discussed before could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls can only block out so much water. That’s why it is necessary to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters pour directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be designed to work with this flow of water to help it disperse into the ground. But, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it isn’t supposed to. This water can kill plants either by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are the first sign that there is a lot of moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually find water marks under the gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a usually a sign that rain water is pouring down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is the easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they definitely have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your house to identify any possible damage to the roof shingles, outer walls, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to any standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of simple ways Knoxville Gutters Plus recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least once a year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out regularly. As with anything else, the better you maintain your rain gutters, the fewer problems you’ll experience with them.
The optimal time to clean out gutters is during the spring, but to be cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. A lot of homeowners choose to clean their gutters themselves, but there are local gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to handle the mess or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. A fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the signs we discussed above.
We’d recommend that you complete an exterior home inspection after each season to confirm that your gutters are functioning correctly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing a problem before it becomes too bad can save you a lot of time and money. A small crack, for example, can be sealed, or the section of gutter with the crack can easily be replaced very affordably.
However, if you let the problem go on too long, you could end up making repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.